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Looking back on a great year in Rupp Arena

Records were broken, and wins came in droves.

Illinois-Chicago v Kentucky Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

As soon as Rupp Arena went back to full capacity for the 2021-2022 season, it seemed like Kentucky made up for lost time and lost opportunities from the year prior, putting up 18 performances of great basketball that all resulted in victory for the blue and white and sent BBN home happy each time.

Only one game was truly a dodged bullet: Mississippi State taking the Cats to overtime in January. Even then, the Bulldogs never led throughout the entire game.

Here are some of the highlights of a fantastic season inside Rupp Arena:

  • In their first full-capacity game in Rupp since before the pandemic, UK put up 100 points in a 40-point blowout over Robert Morris.
  • On December 22nd to the dismay of BBN the annual Louisville game had to be nixed, but after Western Kentucky replaced the Cardinals Oscar Tshiebwe broke the building’s record for most rebounds by a player from either team with 28 boards.
  • Tubby Smith got to see his jersey hung in the rafters on New Year’s Eve...and see his High Point squad get trounced by 46.
  • Less than 24 hours after the passing of legendary former coach Joe B. Hall, Kentucky honors him with a performance that would make him proud—a 107-79 demolishing of a ranked Tennessee team.
  • In a game with the second-lowest attendance figures with “only” 18,144 showing up to the 9 pm tip, the Wildcats hold off a scrappy Mississippi State squad in overtime for an 82-74 win where some late Kellan Grady 3’s played a key role in keeping the ‘Cats unbeaten at home.
  • On February 19th and 23rd, Kentucky plays back-to-back home games without TyTy Washington and Sahvir Wheeler, falls behind by double-digits to SEC contenders in both of them, and wrestles back control to notch two big league victories in the final weeks of SEC play.
  • On March 1st the ‘Cats seal the deal with an 11-point win on Senior Night against Ole Miss to finish their home slate 18-0 for the first time since 2016.

Now, we watch the ‘Cats travel across the country from Gainesville to the SEC Tournament to the NCAA Tournament sites on a ride that hopefully ends in New Orleans. Go big blue!